The Prophet’s marriage to Hazrat Umm Salama

Hazrat Umm Salama, whose real name was “Hind”, was the daughter of Umayya b. Mughira, from the tribe of Sons of Mahzum. When her husband Abdullah b. Ab­du’l-Asad was exposed to the harassment and torture of the polytheists because he embraced Islam, they migrated to Abyssinia. When they heard the rumor that many Qurayshis embraced Islam, they returned to Makkah but when they found out that it was not true, they migrated to Madinah with great difficulty.  

Umm Salama migrated together with her husband in both migrations to Abyssinia.

Her husband was wounded in the Battle of Uhud and died toward the end of the month of Jumada al-Awwal in the fourth year of the Migration; she was left with four children when her husband died.

They want to Promise Each Other

Once Umm Salama said to her husband, who was ill, “I have heard that a woman who deserves to go to Paradise will marry her husband in Paradise if her husband goes to Paradise and if the woman does not marry anybody else after her husband dies. Similarly, a man who deserves to go to Paradise will marry his wife in Paradise if his wife goes to Paradise and if the man does not marry anybody else after his wife dies.”  Then, she made the following offer:

“Let us promise each other. I will not marry anybody after you and you will not marry anybody after me.”

However, Abu Salama did not accept this offer and said to her, “Obey what I tell you: Marry after I die.” Then, he prayed as follows:

“O God! Give Umm Salama a better husband than me, a husband that will not despise her and that will not hurt her.”[1]

The Prophet Talks to Umm Salama

Umm Salama had refused the marriage proposals of Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Umar. After that, the Prophet sent somebody to her to ask her hand in marriage. Umm Salama asked him to excuse her and said, “I am an old woman and I am very jealous; I have several children. There is nobody from my guardians to be a witness for me.”

Upon this answer, the Prophet himself went to Umm Salama and repeated his proposal. He said,

“You say that you are an old woman. However, it is not reprehensible for a woman to marry a man older than her. You said you had children. Know it very well that their sustenance belongs to God and His Messenger. You say you are a jealous woman. I will pray God to eliminate that characteristic from you. You say there is nobody from your guardians here. None of your guardians whether they are here or not will oppose to your marriage with me.”

Thereupon, Umm Salama said to her son, who was near her, “Stand up, O Umar! Marry me off to the Messenger of God.”[2]

Thus, God Almighty accepted the prayer of Abu Salama he uttered before his death: “O God! Give Umm Salama a better husband than me, a husband that will not despise her and that will not hurt her.”[3] Thus, Umm Salama married the best person.

Umm Salama, who was 44 years old when she married the Prophet, died at the age of 84 in the 59th year of the Migration. Abu Hurayra led her janazah prayer. She was buried in the cemetery of Baqi.[4]

Umm Salama, who could read but not write, was one of those who knew fiqh well. The number of hadiths she reported from the Messenger of God is 378.

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[1]Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, Vol. 8, p. 88.

[2]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 8, p. 89-90.

[3]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 8, p. 88.

[4]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 8, p. 96.

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